Marla knew she was in bad trouble as soon as she was shoved into the van bound for Middleton. She was almost fourteen, an orphan since the last eight months with no relatives in the country. Last week she had been thrown out of the Brendan Charitable School for punching one of the staff. It had not mattered that he was peddling cigarette, liquor and whatnot, inside the dorm. She was sent to Blessing Fireside for Children in Middelton. The town consisted of two roads and a dozen by lanes and the Blessing was situated near the highway exit ramp just outside of town. The three storey building had only one entrance.
Marla along with ten other girls were housed on the second floor. The third floor was where the bossman- Mr. Roster lived along with his floozie. The ground floor housed the kitchen and three bedrooms and a small common area was used by the six resident goons. The girls did all the cleaning and washing on all three floors. The windows were barred and the single entrance made it impossible for any of the girls to escape. From the shards of conversations Marla and the other girls had picked up, they would be sold off soon and that a local cop was also involved.
On the sixth night one of the younger girls had tried to escape. What followed was a nightmare. Bossman made a goon hit her on the ankles till they reddened and swelled and then made her stand on those painful feet for three hours, with her arms tied above to a wall fixture. All the girls were made to sit and watch for those three hours. Sitting there Marla was angry beyond words. She would hurt bossman. She cooled down and thought of how her father- an army major- would go about it. She began methodically listing what she had, just like her father had often talked about doing.
She knew techie stuff like phones, modems and computers. She had a bottle of Codeine she had stolen from the guy she had punched, as revenge- punishment. She could get at least three of the girls to co-operate. What else did she have? She knew there were eight of them. All of them except the bossman used small throw-away phones. Every night the bossman asked a girl to serve him whisky. And clean up afterwards. Suddenly Marla knew it.
Later that night Marla asked the girls about what the bossman would do when they were serving him and his floozie. five of the six said the same thing- he would be using his phone every few minutes. The next night Marla had ground six Codeine pills and made a small paper cone. She managed to empty it into the whisky bottle before she started to serve the bossman and his partner. An hour later both were fast asleep. She picked up the bossman's phone; it was locked but luckily it asked for a finger-print and not a password; and soon enough Marla sat in a corner out of sight of the doorway browsing through the phone.
Secu-Speak was the app which had been consistently used according to the power usage data. Marla knew of this app. It deleted the messages a minute after they were viewed and the responses a minute after they were typed. She tapped the icon a message sprang out. Is the shipment ready to go?
Marla thought for a few moments before replying. Not full Load
The reply came in seconds. YOU made us increase the truck capacity to fifteen
Marla knew this was a one-off-god-sent chance. She answered Need half in Bitcoin upfront to complete the full quota by tomorrow
You better be right. Bitcoin address?
Marla hurried to remove a small crumpled printout from her sock and typed in her Bitcoin Wallet address
Funds Enroute. Truck will be there 1300 hours local time OK?
Marla typed checking wallet
Fuck You. confirm time.
Marla shut the app and googled FBI offices for Middleton. The she fired an email to the three addresses on the site and to CMM news.
"Human trafficking ring holding girls at this location at Blessing Fireside. Proceed with caution- local police compromised. Eight armed men holding ten girls." She patched in the GPS location at the end.
She then wiped the history from the phone. She opened up the back of the phone and removed the battery and then replaced askew and threw the phone under the floozies chair.
In the morning the girls had an early breakfast and retreated to their room carrying bottles of water. They barricaded themselves in by pushing the beds to the door and piling them one on the other. One of the girls had a brilliant idea of writing on the window glass in large letters - SAVE US
After nearly three hours of silence all hell broke loose. The truck had arrived early. There was shouting, fighting and shooting, there were bangs on the door and even shots at it with the bullets hitting the piled beds. The girls huddled in prayer. Marla joining in a prayer for the first time in her life. The door cracked open after a thunderous blow. It was the FBI
The girls were taken to a federal building. There were medical checks and showers and interviews with officers individually and along with others. The next day the girls were sent to a nearby military school temporarily. Marla received another shock when she checked her Bitcoin Wallet, it showed 33.5 Bitcoin.
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